A yoke is a wooden bar used to bring one or more animals together for work. Also a yoke can be put upon the shoulders of a man to carry water in buckets on each side. The yoke implies that of labor and work in the kingdom of God. The Lord impressed upon me that by taking his yoke, we are allowing him to carry our burdens. This brings us freedom to love and serve others, verses taking the yoke of slavery unto the law.
In Luke 11:46, the Lord says, “And you experts in the law, woe to you, because you load people down with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not touch the burdens with one of your fingers.” I believe the Lord is saying the only way to true freedom from our burdens is to lay them down at His feet and allow Him to take them and bear them for us. This is easier said than done! We genuinely go to the Lord in prayer and approach the throne of mercy asking for relief from our burdens, only to pick them all up again and like a lead weight throw them over our shoulder and walk away! We do not truly trust that the Lord is able to carry our burdens for us, somehow we feel as though we must carry our own burdens. The Lord however wants us to come to a place where we can lay down our burdens before Him and walk away easier and lighter.
In Galatians 5:1 the Scripture reads, “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand fast therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” Paul here is addressing the issue of circumcision, which was the mark of belonging to the Jewish nation. For a Gentile to put such a high priority on this was a sign they were trying to be justified by the law. Paul went on to say that if you receive circumcision, Christ would be of no advantage to you. He says by doing so they will be bound to keep the whole law. This would mean that they had fallen away from the grace of the Lord. Paul states that through the Spirit, by faith, we wait for the hope of righteousness. He says, “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision is of any avail, but faith working through love.”
“Paul goes on to say we are called to freedom, but not to allow this as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love be servants of one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another.” By walking in the Spirit, we are yoking ourselves up with Christ and He carries our burdens, how else could he say take upon yourselves my yoke because my burden is light and easy. If we are trying to justify ourselves by the law or doing all the right things, we will be weary and overwhelmed. We cannot carry all our burdens around ourselves and still expect to have fulfilling, productive lives. How can we serve others, if we are buried beneath the weight of all our burdens and those of the world? I say we cannot!
So the enemy would come to us and accuse us of every weakness we have, not to mention every thing we have ever done wrong. If we allow these burdens and accusations to build up, we will be making the grace of God null and void. We should agree quickly with our adversaries and say yes you are right I am a weak and wretched man or woman. Then remind Satan that you have chosen to allow the Lord to carry your burdens therefore you do not have to carry them. It is written that Jesus himself bore are burdens and all our iniquities (wickedness.) Isaiah 53:4, “Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted, But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that made us whole, and with his stripes we are healed.” Without the grace and love of God, we are nothing. He died when we were yet in sin and He chose to do this for us. We cannot then go back and try to be justified by the law of slavery or our own self- righteousness.
Who among us can stand and say there is no sin in us. 1 John 1, “ But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”As we work out our salvation with fear and trembling, let us remember that the Lord’s yoke is easy and His burden is light. We should therefore be able by the power of the Holy Spirit and the knowledge of the Word of God, be able to live a life of peace and rest in His presence. We should be able to trust in the power of the Spirit to equip us with everything we need to accomplish the task He has given us. If we are trying to do this work on our own or by justifying ourselves by the law, we will become so weary and burdened. The Lord will have no choice but to make us lay down in green pastures, by the still waters and rest. If you are feeling burned out or discouraged today, I encourage you to take another look at your alone time with the Lord. We must find the time to have intimate prayer and conversation with Jesus, to truly rest in this world. Because in this world we will have trials and tribulations.We must learn to yoke up with the Lord, to find refreshing for our souls.